Perhaps what helped me fall in love with Tucson again are those recent days of what seemed like endless rain cooling us down—at least on my end of town—that allowed me to open the doors and turn off the cooler for the first time since summer's arrival.
It's those desert days—walking barefoot into that cool wet to get the paper from the front yard. It really is Tucson perfection, but I also recognized that there were other things going on around that make life in Tucson often brilliant, even in the middle of a bus strike. While dancing to Mexican Institute of Sound the last night of HOCO Fest last week, in celebration of Club Congress' 30th birthday, I was thinking this—how things come together, that feel like community. Those days of rain were also the final days of KXCI's fund drive. I don't think it was the cooler temps that made me feel this way, but I never lament over hearing the DJ's of our community radio station interrupt programming to remind us to give, but that's probably because the station happens to mean a lot to me—the morning making breakfast, the drive to the office, the drive home, and Wednesday nights and Saturday afternoon. It's my life soundtrack. Stepping back in that rain is perspective-taking at it's finest—it's good to be here, to be home.
Home also happens to be the people I work with at the Tucson Weekly. I was pleased to learn last month that we placed in the Arizona Newspapers Association 2015 Better Newspaper Contest. We will know exactly how we placed later this month, but here is how a look at how we did this particular newspaper contest: Maria Ines Taracena won two Best News Story awards and one Best Column, Feature or Criticism for her medical marijuana coverage; I won for an investigating news story and a feature story; Jim Nintzel won for his political coverage his column The Skinny; Heather Hoch won a Best Column, Feature or Criticism for a food review; and Brandon Hays won for his design work for our special sections. Wish us well. We don't get too excited about newspaper contests around here. However, we're never ones to turn down a reason to celebrate—rain, birthdays or community. Hope you're doing the same, Tucson.
— Mari Herreras, firstname.lastname@example.org